PODGE’S POT ROASTED PARSNIP & SHAL­LOT SOUP

(Serves two to four)

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FOOD -

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

2 large chunky parsnips 1 medium/large potato 6 medium sized shal­lots 5 spring onions 3 large gar­lic cloves 1 medium to large onion 1 veg­etable stock cube

METHOD

Rinse the un­peeled parsnips and pota­toes un­der a cold tap (most of the flavour is in the skins). Cut the root ends off both parsnips then chop both parsnips and potato into inch-sized cubes. Peel and half all the shal­lots.

Place the chopped parsnips, potato, shal­lots and gar­lic onto the tray in a large non-stick roast­ing tray. Lightly coat in rape­seed (health­ier) or ex­tra vir­gin olive oil and lightly sea­son with crushed black pep­per and salt (I used Mal­don salt cos I’m a posh git). Put into a pre-heated oven for roughly 30 mins at 200C/180C fan/Gas Mark 6 and roast un­til all the veg are a nice golden-brown.

Mean­while, finely dice the onion and spring onion. Heat a small knob of but­ter and a touch of olive oil over a medium-to-low heat in a large heavy pot (24cm cast-iron pot is ideal). Add the onions and spring onions and gen­tly sweat them for 5 to 10 mins un­til soft­ened. Sea­son with salt and pep­per af­ter the first few min­utes.

Now you’re ready to add in the per­fectly roasted veg­eta­bles. Make sure to squeeze out the gar­lic from its skin into the pot. Then add roughly 700ml of veg­etable stock or un­til ev­ery­thing is cov­ered with about an inch to spare. Place the lid on the pot and sim­mer for 20 min­utes.

Fi­nally, trans­fer the soup to a blender and blitz to a con­sis­tency that you like. I rec­om­mend a light blitz so it’s still fairly thick and lumpy (you won’t no­tice any potato skins). You can pour the blitzed mix­ture back into a pot to heat up again if nec­es­sary and serve it in oven-warmed bowls for the ul­ti­mate win­ter-warmer soup. Gar­nish with grated cheese – parme­san or white ched­dar.

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